On Sunday, August 25, the president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston, USA, Heidi Urich, who traces her roots back to Sierpc (a small town 75 miles from Warsaw) visited, together with her husband, the local School of Dialogue.
Young graduates of the School of Dialogue program in Sierpc and their teachers welcomed their quests and took them for a tour of Jewish sites in their town. They were accompanied by the school principal Rev. Stanisław Zarosa SAC, head of the local documentation center Tomasz Krukowski and school historian Dorota Ossowska who supervised the School of Dialogue program in Sierpc in the fall of 2012.
Heidi found the experience to be moving and emotional, as she said, “A group of Polish middle school students was showing me a building that once housed the Jewish library and another that housed the town rabbi and a Jewish school. They pointed out the site of the handsome wooden synagogue destroyed by the Nazis and the borders of the Jewish ghetto established by the Nazis. At the Jewish cemetery, they lit lanterns they had brought along at a monument to remember victims of the Holocaust. I was impressed with the quality of the tour and with the students’ pride in presenting what they had learned in researching their town’s history. Neither would have been possible without the vision and expertise of the School for Dialogue program.”
In May 2014 Forum for Dialogue organised visits for the representatives of the American organization Facing History and Ourselves in 5 schools that participated in the School of Dialogue program: Błonie, Grójec, Radzymin, Sierpc and Sokołów Podlaski. Forum’s educators ran the “get-to-know each other” workshops and the pupils showed the guests the places in their towns connected with the Jewish heritage.